Sunday, October 20, 2013

Parental Visitation #2

Williston is a pretty cool place so the notable thing here is not that we've had two sets of visitors in two months, but why there haven't been MORE visitors :)  Tanner's mom had UEA break from school this last Thursday and Friday so they decided to make a quick trip up here.  It worked out perfectly because it was already a weekend I had off and Tanner had a day off this month to use.  His mom and dad and grandma drove up Thursday and we had dinner together that night.  Driving here in a day makes for an early morning and lots of tiredness.  So we ate and chatted and then they headed to their hotel.  The next morning was Williston tour day.  Tanner is a great tour guide so we drove all around.  Showed him a bunch of stuff about his work and how the oil gets shipped out, they saw plenty of oil rigs and basically all the greatness Williston has to offer.
Grandma Elaine only has 5 more states to visit now.  Good thing we gave her a great reason to come to North Dakota.  She says we need to move to Delaware next :)

We also drove out to the Yellowstone/Missouri River Confluence Center.  We wandered around there for a bit and then watched a video about the history of Fort Buford (right next to the confluence).  Apparently Sitting Bull surrendered there at the end of the Great Sioux War in 1881.  We learned some stuff.  They popped us popcorn and gave us beverages.  Elaine and I dozed off here and there.  It was a fun time.

After that we came home and played some games and watched some baseball and ate some food and laughed and talked and had a great time.  We taught them one of our favorite games, Mexican Train.  We played it both nights.  And I won, so that's always a bonus. 

The next day we did a little more driving around.  We showed them some man camps and some of the country with rigs all over the place.  They really loved it actually.  It's so different up here and it's fun seeing that newness through other people because it's starting to become sort of normal for us.  We also went out to Lewis and Clark State Park and did a little wandering around.  That's actually two things we'd never done before that we got to check off our list so it worked out nicely for everyone.

The "trail" was a mowed patch of grass.

 There were a couple sections that we walked through that were narrow and covered in trees and the colors were still a little lingering awesome and it was cool all the leaves on the ground and it smelled great and it felt like home for a minute.  It was really pretty. 

Detour around the flooded tunnel.  Grandma Elaine was killing it.

 After that we went out to eat at a new Williston restaurant - Williston Brewing Company.  My first time, but Tanner had been there a few times.  It was pretty sweet and delicious and we ate a ton of food and life was good.  Then it was back home for more games and baseball.  And that was it.  Then they had to go back to the hotel to get some sleep for their early departure the next morning.  Sad.  It was so much fun to have them here and let them get a better visual glimpse of our life and just to spend time with them.  We miss our family a lot.  Only one more month till we get to take another trip home.  Hooray!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Some ER tales

Don't worry - this coming after a Facebook post of my first fecal disimpaction - there will be no pictures or gory details about that one.  It was sick.  And I don't care to dwell on it myself.  For some reason blood and guts and pus and other nastiness doesn't really bother me.  Puke and poop really do though.  That's probably not the best for upcoming I better toughen up in that department too.  Baby poop has got to be better than 85 year old man poop though, right?  I hope so.

I keep trying to keep notes of things that happen that are interesting and I am successful with that maybe 40-50% of the time.  Over the last several weeks I've noted a few more interesting things.  There was a young kid that came in CONVINCED that he was majorly infested with parasites that he got from possibly eating less than completely cooked pork like 4 or more years ago.  He had seen so many doctors and been to specialists and he knew WAY more than I did about anything parasitic or treatment about it also.  He claimed he had them coming out of his skin and that he had them at home but he didn't bring them to the ER.  I wish I could have seen what he was claiming were the parasites.  He said that he could feel them moving inside of him, especially if he took any medicine or anything that "made them mad", basically.  He was a good looking kid and in his young 20's and seemed totally normal.  He kept saying that I probably thought he sounded crazy.  I lied and said he didn't.  But he totally did. And is.  It's sad.  He probably has undiagnosed schizophrenia or something.  Which is devastating and crazy.  Those kind of diseases fascinate me.  I wonder how he's doing now.  It was quite interesting.

There was a guy that was working on some construction project.  Young guy - newish to job and town.  He was hanging from something and a big beam fell from above him and smashed him pretty good.  That was a sad one.  He broke a bunch of ribs and had a collapsed lung and had to get a chest tube put in.  Also - this is what his leg looked like:
Not good.  I felt really bad for him.  It's times like those that I realize I do have compassion for some people.  Other people on the other hand...

A couple weeks ago there was this middle aged girl that came in with a teeny tiny cut on her pinky finger.  It had been smashed in a car door.  I do not doubt that that would hurt like crazy, ok?  Well, as she was soaking and waiting for an x-ray or something, a 90 year old lady, otherwise completely healthy and doesn't take ANY medications, comes in because she took a little tumble backwards and BROKE the middle of her humerus in half.  Bad.  Like very displaced, pushing out on the skin, very deformed and nasty.  We didn't have any other rooms so she goes into the fast track curtain room right next to pinky finger lady.  She was trying to move her arm so I could look at it.  I kept saying - no, don't move, you're fine.  I asked her if she wanted anything for pain and she said she was okay right then.  While we were discussing her getting transferred (we didn't have ortho on call that day), I hear this whiny little voice from the other curtain, "can I get a blanket?".  I ignored her for as long as I could.  I couldn't believe it.  And there is no way to make you understand what a huge baby she was when I was numbing her finger.  I had zero patience and even looked at her and said incredulously, "are you kidding me??".  I wanted to remind her that there was a 90 year old next to her with a BROKEN ARM that hadn't even requested pain medicine.  Don't worry, though - I did use the biggest possible needle to numb her up.  Maybe that's bad but I was crazily annoyed by her.  She got 2 stitches.  And she probably didn't even need those.  Wow.

That reminds me of this one time I was suturing a guys hand and he was a big tough guy, in his 20's, doing fine.  He was sitting on the edge of the bed and I had everything sterile and draped and was going to town and then I looked up and he didn't look so hot.  I asked if he was okay and he kind of said yes and almost immediately after that he was tipping forward onto my tray of stuff.  Woah.  So much for a sterile field.  I caught him and put him back on the bed and moved sides and finished up.  It was actually quite hilarious to me.  That's almost happened two other times.  Guys convinced they are fine and then tell me they need to lay back.  I don't ever give them the chance anymore.  Boys.  Seriously such wimps :)

One gross picture ahead - this guy got his finger stuck in a combine on his farm.  He got shipped out.  It looks like the tip of his finger is completely gone but I just didn't get the greatest picture of it.  It's mangled and hanging down below the stub that you can see.  Ouch.
I wasn't in the hospital for this one but the other night there was a guy they brought in from the jail because he was having a seizure.  Apparently a fake one because while he was in one of the rooms and the cop was a few feet away talking to a nurse, he stripped his blood pressure cuff off and bolted.  The nurses said they heard the velcro and turned and saw a leg.  He was GONE.  The cop tried to chase after him but apparently you don't get too much exercise in the jail because he didn't stand a chance.  Distance between them kept getting bigger and bigger.  And then they had to admit the cop for a heart attack.  JK.  Not really.  But I'm sure he didn't get a medal for losing a prisoner.  That was actually about a week or so ago.  I heard yesterday that they did finally catch him.

And I think the last one I have is another pic I posted on facebook.  A kid came in by ambulance because as the story goes, a guy came into his house and attacked him because he thought he was sleeping with his wife or girlfriend or whatever.  The patient made sure to tell me he wasn't though.  Whew.  That's a relief.  He had a bunch of bruises and scratches on his face.  A couple shallow cuts to his back and right forearm.  The worst of it was his left hand.  3 of his fingers on the palmar surface got cut REALLY bad and deep and were bleeding like CRAZY.  He also had 2 bad cuts on the back of his 4th and 5th fingers.  3 out of the 5 cuts completely severed tendons and so he was going to have to have surgery.  My job - per the ortho doc - was to sew him up and stop the bleeding until she could see him in clinic and the OR.  He had his arm on the side of the bed and I was trying so hard and fast to get the big bleeders closed up when I felt my leg get kind of wet.  I looked down and had blood dripping down my leg and all over my shoe from it pooling on the pad on the bed.  Sick.

That day was a rough one for finger bleeders actually.  He was the  worst.  30 stitches in all of those cuts.  But there were two other people with hand cuts - one cut the tip of his finger off and one got a deep cut on the back of his hand.  Both of which had squirters that I'm pretty sure got me somewhere.  Tanner wouldn't even come close to me till my clothes were washed in hot water and I was showered off. 

I still love my job but don't necessarily love always working.  I like not working.  But if I have to work it might as well be something I enjoy and get to make fun of stupid people at :)  Haha.  JK.  Sort of.  There are a lot of really great and nice people that come through too and I love helping them, especially because the people that need help are actually courteous and grateful.  Wish I could say that for everyone.  It's almost always an adventure there!